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Aug 7, 2005 - LONDON, England

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

We are just over our 3 month mark from being away from home and "on the road". I do have to say it is getting a bit easier, and if you don't understand what I mean about getting easier, try it...  leave "home" for 4 months!  I know it all sounds like fun, life changing, luxurious etc, and for the most part it is, however, there are times where I could just get on that aircraft and come HOME, even for just a couple of days...

Actually we were in a pub the other night and chatted to these two girls beside us and one had taken a year off to travel and she only made it 7 months, she was so homesick she went home early -- she said it was one of the worse decisions she has made. She got home and within 24 hours she realized that nothing had changed at ALL, and 50% of her surroundings did not even know she had left town! So when I told her I was having a bit of a hard time with being away for so long, she said, and I quote: "get over it!"

I believe her.

We are in Dublin for just over a week. We had hoped to visit the Irish countryside to a village called Galway, but we still have to get our VISA for India, one of the only places we cannot get one "at point of entry" unfortunately. We tried in London, but there were masses of people and one of the reps there told us he could not guarantee that we would receive it BEFORE we left London 5 days later, and when you apply you have to pay, and if it does not arrive, you loose your Euros. So we decided to wait until we came to Dublin as we are here for 9 days. We went to the India Consulate as soon as we got here, and he said it would take minimum 7 working days, with NO guarantee either. . . so we now have to wait until we get to Cairo, as we are there for just over a month. Getting a bit concerned here, but we should get it there, and we get into CAIRO this Thursday, the 12th, wish us luck!

Oh, yah, LONDON :-)

We arrived on the 25th of July from Copenhagen. We were a bit concerned about the recent terrorist attacks in their underground transportation, called "the tube" but thought, just like the Londoners, you can't let it stop you, be brave and carry on. So we did. One day however, we were walking along the "Diana Memorial Walk" and all of a sudden there was this rush of people coming outta buildings by the hundreds, no exaggeration. Bomb threat. It was the main office of their metro/transit. That was a bit on the nerve-racking side.

The atmosphere was still a bit somber, but people were extremely friendly, kind and very receptive to us!

Out of the large cities we have visited, I (Marc) have to say London is my 2nd favourite, and I didn't even really want to visit London!

London is a very beautiful city, lots to see and to do. It has 12 million inhabitants, but somehow has a very quaint feel to it. So many little warm pockets like we have Granville Island, Kits, and Commercial Drive in Vancouver. So many.

The double decked buses, the area of Soho (fantastic), Buckingham Palace, fish and chips!  Diana's residence: Kensington Palace, which we went into (!!) and saw alot of Diana's wardrobe (!) as well as Queen Elizabeth's professional wardrobe...  Kensington Palace is also where Queen Victoria grew up.  We saw the bedroom she was awoken in to learn she was now the new Queen at the age of 18, Princess Margaret also lived here -- we saw her residence, where she lived for 40 years!. Kensington Gardens is also famous for Peter Pan: it was here that J.M.Barrie went for walks and told local children stories about the "boy who could fly and never aged"! (speaking of aged, I think I have aged 10 years since April, honestly! )  Saint Paul's Cathedral, where Diana and Charles were married, Notting Hill, uhm, Big Ben, London Bridge; the theatre area, with all its billboards, paper and neon advertisements everywhere, where John and I splurged and saw the live performance of Phantom of the Opera (was 2nd to none). The live theatre here is just as big as it is in NYC -- it was really great!

The hostel we found was in the Holland Park neighbourhood and was fantastic! It was IN the park itself, surrounded by trees, streams, ponds filled with ducks and fish and hanging begonia's everywhere!

One thing we were disappointed in is we did not get to see our friend Claire, the timing just sucked; not by choice, but coincidently, Claire had to leave town the same day we arrived and came home the day we left :-(

All in all, we LOVED London!

Bye for now, next stop, C A I R O, E G Y P T !


Marc and John xo


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